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10-08-2020 Outdoors

WATERVLIET EQUESTRIAN TEAM… (from the left) Karley Knight 9th grade, Amara Olex 9th grade, Coach Nicole Klimkiewicz, Natalie Knight 12th grade and Yona Klimkiewicz 12th grade. These young ladies participated in three meets this year in August and September, mostly in gaming classes where they shine the most! Yona Klimkiewicz and Natalie Knight took 1st place in the 2-man relay which was the last event of the season, ending their senior year perfectly in 15:22 seconds. The two freshmen on the team, Amara and Karley, pushed through many obstacles and did great for their first year on the team.

Fall bird migration is in full swing and with it comes deadly dangers: window collisions. Glass reflects the landscape and birds think they can continue flying into the “trees.” Predators take advantage of the increase in prey numbers during migration. Even a resident yard bird will take to the “safety” of the reflected trees if a hawk is chasing them. If you find a stunned bird that doesn’t seem injured, put it in a shoebox in a safe place…away from predators and curious human eyes. Don’t try to give it food or water. Just let it be. Every 15 minutes take the box outside and open it. If the bird is okay, it will fly away. If it isn’t flying or is injured, contact a rehabber listed on the Michigan DNR website There are many window covering options to stop future collisions. Go to to learn about DIY ways to stop the deadly collisions. They estimate about one billion birds sadly losing their life every year in the U.S. due to collisions. At the nature center, we have been using tempera markers, thick string, and sticky dots to cover our windows, all with success. Fall migration can also be a time to enjoy these fall migrants with a walk outside. Sarett naturalists took a bird walk on our trails last week and saw or heard over 33 species (not including any common feeder birds).

WINNING DESIGN… 2020 Watervliet High School graduate Alyssa Schlender was honored at the recent Watervliet Public Schools Foundation meeting for her talented artwork selected as the trademark for the foundation. Though the drawings had been submitted much earlier this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic she was never honored as she should have been. Her artwork can be found on their website, Information on donating to the foundation, its mission, and goals can be found on the website as well. (TCR photo by Annette Christie)

Fishing The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds anglers that are headed out fishing, to please do their part to keep themselves and others safe by following COVID-19 public health and safety guidelines. Go fishing only if they’re feeling well. Practice proper social distancing (at least 6 feet away from people who don’t live in their household) and keep a face covering handy for when social distancing cannot be maintained. Frequently wash their hands with soap and warm water, or use hand sanitizer. Fall fishing can be exceptional, but the weather can change quickly, especially on the Great Lakes. Rain and windy conditions this past week on the lakes slowed fishing and limited angler participation. Ellinee Bait & Tackle located on Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reported fishing was slow on the local inland lakes. Those that went out were getting some nice size panfish and crappie. They were fishing 15 to 20 feet down and drifting a minnow under a slip bobber. Paw Paw River anglers took some nice king salmon with Oslo’s with pink and orange the choice colors. South Haven boat anglers were taking a good number of lake trout when they could get out. They were caught when trolling in 80 feet or so. Perch fishing was very slow as well as pier fishing for all species. The angler activity was low on the Black River and fishing was slow. Boat anglers out of St. Joseph reported slow fishing, but a few lake trout were found in 100 feet when they could get out. Perch anglers were still getting a few in 35 to 70 feet, but the fish remain scattered. Pier fishing was slow. Catches on the St. Joseph River were spotty, but those anglers that were trolling were getting a few salmon, including those up near the Berrien Springs Dam. The DNR tip this week is how to go “hunting” for several species of fish to target in October and November that include walleye, perch, and trout. Walleye are thought to be in best condition in the fall and often can be found in the river mouth areas of larger, inland lakes. They’re gathering there to take advantage of baitfish that like to hang out as the weather cools off. Set sights on 10-12 feet deep to find these guys. Perch also populate around these same river mouths, but these fish likely will be much closer to the river than walleye. Anglers should check out depths as shallow as four feet. Trout, available in some larger lakes during this time as well, can be found in the same areas as walleye and perch. For more information on the numerous autumn opportunities, visit September 17 was a big day for the state’s fisheries, and another crucial step toward reintroducing Arctic Grayling to Michigan waters. The first year-class (a group of young fish produced during one year) of future broodstock was transferred from an isolated rearing facility at Oden State Fish Hatchery near Petoskey to Marquette State Fish Hatchery. Approximately 4,000 fish, averaging 6.5 inches long, made the trip to Marquette. The occasion marked a significant milestone in the Michigan Arctic Grayling Initiative – a collaborative effort to bring this native fish back to For more on this exciting initiative, visit or contact Ed Eisch at 231-499-4118. Hunting Hunters in deer management units 452 and 487 of northeastern Lower Peninsula may now purchase antlerless deer licenses for only $5. Public- and private-land antlerless licenses are available in DMU 487 and public-land antlerless licenses are available in DMU 452. The discounted cost – reduced from the regular $20 license – is intended to provide an incentive for hunters to take more deer, which would help manage the size of the herd in northeast Michigan and may reduce the amount of bovine tuberculosis in that area. The discounted licenses are available to both resident and nonresident hunters. Licenses will be offered at this reduced cost until October 2021. More information about deer hunting is available at Archery deer season opened last Thursday, Oct. 1, and runs to Nov. 14, and again Dec. 1 through Jan. 1, 2021. Archery deer hunters in the Lower Peninsula have the option to take antlerless deer with their deer or deer combo license. In the Upper Peninsula, hunters now can take an antlerless deer with either a deer or deer combo license during the archery season, except in DMU’s 027, 031, 036, 042, 066, 127, and 131. Check the 2020 Hunting Digest at for deer hunting regulations, including information on the types of deer you can shoot in each season and any antler point restrictions that may be in place. Check out the DNR’s annual deer hunting preview on their website, which includes regional forecasts. Waterfowl hunters at Michigan’s Wetland Wonders – the state’s seven premier managed waterfowl hunt areas, located across the southern Lower Peninsula – should expect significant changes to the daily drawing process at waterfowl check stations for the 2020 hunting season. The changes have been implemented to maintain the health and safety of employees and waterfowl hunters in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Safety protocols will be in place for all drawings to reduce contact. Additionally, there are several important changes to drawing rules and managed hunt procedures to minimize contact. Information about youth and veteran’s preference drawings and any date changes will be coming soon. Safety guidelines, changes to managed hunt procedures, and details about each area can be found at


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